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Where in the world has Milwaukee’s Bishop Sklba been?

June 30, 2011

Not under oath in Milwaukee for the clerical sex abuse cover up

 

We have not heard or seen much from auxiliary bishop Richard Sklba since the Milwaukee archdiocese filed for bankruptcy in early January.

 

After years of delay by archdiocesan attorneys, Sklba’s long anticipated and potentially explosive deposition was finally scheduled to take place this January.

Sklba, who has been directly implicated in nearly all the major child sex crimes in the archdiocese, was called by Archbishop Emeritus Rembert Weakland under oath in 2008 his personal “go to guy” on “all abuse cases”, including the notorious Fr. Lawrence Murphy who, according to court ordered released archdiocesan records, sexually assaulted over 200 deaf children at St. John’s School for the Deaf (see “Sklba Clergy Abuse Fact Sheet” posted below).

 

With the legal maneuvers exhausted and just days before his grilling under oath, it is no accident that Archbishop Listecki filed for bankruptcy in Federal Court in Milwaukee, effectively halting or significantly delaying yet again, Sklba’s deposition.
So where has Sklba been as the rest of us were struggling with below zero temperatures in Milwaukee this winter and enduring a chilly spring and early summer?
Enjoying himself, presumably for months, in the Mediterranean, on the warm, picturesque, and historic Greek resort island of Patmos.

 

Which is interesting, since Listecki last week again argued that Sklba’s deposition should not go forward, this time arguing it would be “too expensive.”  Perhaps Listecki was thinking that Sklba could only be deposed in Greece.

 

Sklba talks about his time in Patmos, where he says he “fasted from the Eucharist”, in the Herald of Hope column in this week’s Catholic Herald:  “The paschal mystery: A community empowered” (“paschal” is the Hebrew word for “the passing over” and refers, in Christian belief, to the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus).

 

Last year, in a Herald of Hope column, Sklba described the sexual abuse of children by priests as part of the “paschal mystery,” claiming that he, too, is a victim, right along with the children that were raped and sexually assaulted by clergy that he placed or kept in ministry, because he “clumsily” tried to “do the right thing.”

 

Archbishop Dolan publically shared Sklba’s fine and forgiving opinion of himself, writing in effusive praise in 2004 how Sklba was “St. Joseph in our midst” and  a “just man” among us.   Why?  Because Sklba knows how to keep “silent”:  “And you realize how silent St. Joseph was. We have no recorded words from him. For Joseph, actions speak louder than words. So, too, for Bishop Sklba.”

 

Patmos is the island where it is claimed that the Book of Revelation, the last book of the orthodox Christian canon, was penned.  Sklba writes this week:

 

John and his community were uncompromising in their opposition, fully conscious of the price which such a stand would entail. John, speaking in the name of God, demanded repentance from those who had allowed social and occupational life to become entangled with Roman idolatry in any form. Taking such a stand in that ancient world could cost dearly! Nevertheless, he pointed out that the first people cast out of the New Jerusalem were the “cowards” (21:8).


Or course, it’s not unusual for senior churchmen to disappear to Europe when under fire for covering up child sex crimes.  This week, as the US Bishops meet in Seattle, trying to avoid any serious public discussion of their recent and alarming failures concerning their sex abuse policies, Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia, excoriated by the Philadelphia grand jury earlier this year for hiding over 30 credibly accused sex offender clerics and keeping them in ministry, is in the Czech Republic representing the Vatican for some minor event.

 

“Abuse Fact Sheet on Milwaukee Auxiliary Bishop RICHARD SKLBA”*

 

Sklba has been directly identified in church documents, court depositions, and witnesses in directing the cover up of at least the following serial pedophiles priests:  Frs. George NUEDLIG, Peter BURNS, William EFFINGE, Dennis PECORE, Edmund Haen, Simon PALANTHINGAL, Edwin LESNEWSKI, Frederick BISTRICKY, Franklyn  BECKER, David HANSER, Lawrence MURPHY, Norma Giannini, Joseph Turner.
Skbla, as auxiliary bishop of Milwaukee:

  • Secretly authorized Weakland’s hush money settlement of nearly half a million dollars in 1998.
  • Under oath in 2008, emeritus archbishop Rembert Weakland said that Sklba was his “go to guy” on “all abuse cases.”
  • In previously sealed 1993 deposition of Weakland concerning serial child molester, Fr. Peter Burns, Weakland testified that Sklba “made the decision” on returning abusers to ministry
  • In previously sealed 1993 deposition of Weakland concerning serial child molester, Fr. William Effinger, Weakland testified that Sklba compiled weekly “vicar logs” containing ongoing investigations and reports of child sex abuse by priests of the Milwaukee archdiocese.
  • In 1989 column in the Milwaukee Catholic Herald and again in a 1995 Milwaukee Journal interview, Weakland said that Sklba handled all complaints against priests, although no report by Sklba in his 25 years has ever been known to be sent to law enforcement.
  • A 1992 training manual used by all employees of the archdiocese explicitly instructs church workers and volunteers to report sexual abuse to law enforcement unless committed by a priest, which were then to be reported directly to Sklba, not police.

 

*Compiled from Bishops-Accountability.org

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